Cracked floor raises fears for cinema

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2011

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The Hoyts cinema on Moorhouse Ave in Christchurch could be demolished.

There are fears the foundations may be damaged, but owners and tenants are waiting for a structural engineer's report. Grand Ltd owns 11,000 square metres of the former railway station site, including the Hoyts cinema adjoined to the old building. Science Alive! owns the 6000sqm remainder of the site.

Grand Limited director Lisa Abbott, who owns the Hoyts side, would prefer a rebuild rather than repairs.

"We don't know the damage yet. I would like to rebuild because new is better," she said.

"The floor is cracked. It doesn't look like a lot of damage but being a parent with kids, I am thinking of safety first.

"I feel if the floor is compromised, it could compromise the whole building, but I am not an engineer and I'm waiting for the engineering report."

Hoyts general manager Brian Eldridge said: "We would like to see the cinema complex remain on that site, whether we repair or rebuild."

Science Alive! chief executive Neville Petrie said some of the floors in the Hoyts area were "bowed".

Petrie was waiting on an engineering report on their area.

A former tenant in the Science Alive! section does not plan to return. Aoraki Polytechnic administrator Trish Aitken said the polytechnic had facilities in Hornby, St Albans, Sydenham and Rangiora.

"We don't think we want to go back. We need to get running again and I am not sure they will be able to make decisions very quickly," she said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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